To search for a key phrase, use quotations marks.
Example: "attention deficit"
To search for a word's alternative endings, include an asterisk directly after the root of the word.
Note: the asterisk technique can vary from database to database. If you find it's not working, use a database's Help section to look for its truncation symbol.
Example: environment* (finds environment, environments, environmental, environmentalist, environmentalism, etc.)
Synonym searching with "OR" and parentheses
Use parentheses and the word OR to group synonyms together.
Example: (teenagers OR adolescents)
Searching multiple concepts with "AND"
Connect your keywords and phrases using the capital AND.
Example: (teenagers OR adolescents) AND environment* AND ("attention deficit" OR ADHD)
- Visuwords shows how words are related to each other in visual, mind-map style.
- Synonyms360 does not offer definitions, but it includes lots (a plethora, an abundance, an extravagance, a plenitude...) of synonyms!
- Vocabulary.com defines words in plain English and provides lots of examples of the word in a sentence. It anticipates potential confusion about the word and clears it up.
Which keywords are most relevant to a search? Play the Magnetic Keyword Game to practice selecting the most important search terms.
Need some help?
Chat with us, email email@example.com, call (802-387-1648), or visit the Library with any questions.